Saturday, 1 November 2014

Exposed at Lake Macquarie!


During the hotter weather which we are now getting into here in Australia, we can go for weeks without rain.  Now that is a problem for all but it also means that there is no cloud hanging around for a sunset safari.   That big beautiful yellow orb flashing its' light onto soft fluffy clouds always makes for a contented end to the day; to just sit back and drink in the beauty of it all.

Especially on Lake Macquarie.

It was over 30 degrees celcius yesterday afternoon.  Kim and I had been over at Lachlans' place helping him out with a few things.  On the way home I notice the cloud hanging about, soft wispy trailing clouds and some lovely puffy white clouds.

Now at this time of year here in New South Wales in beautiful Australia, we are on daylight saving time and the Sun sets at 0720pm.  It was now 5.30 pm-ish  so I had time to get home, grab the gear and get down to the Lake.  I have had other locations in mind for sunset photos but, because of the turn around time, I didn't have time to implement a visit to any of those locations.  When in doubt and with little time to spare, Lake Macquarie can put on quite a show!

So, I get home and start to get things together.   My daughter asks me if I can drop her off at a Halloween party at a friends house.  It's not far from here but in totally the opposite direction.  Of course, I said yes straight away; she is responsible enough not to drink and drive and actually drives many times as the designated driver whilst her friends enjoy the beverages! 

Anyway, I drop her off and head off for the Lake.  By this time it was getting later and the Sun was starting to get worryingly low in the sky.  Of course I had to contend with traffic lights and the traffic and as I got closer I considered turning back for home and contemplating what might have been over a cold beer.  Faint hand never won a bloody heart though, and I kept going.

Arrived at Eleebana just as the bottom of the Sun was touching the top of the hills.  Grabbed the gear out of the back and made a beeline for the shore...... DAMN, tripod still in the car!  Smack myself in the forehead and go back to the car.....

Anyway, as I hit the foreshore it didn't take long to get out the gear and start snapping.

Set ISO at 400, attach Cokin filter holder, slide in ND2 graduated filter.

Have you ever hung around for a sunset, waited for that moment and...... WHAM!  It's all over in the blink of an eye?  Well, after I got a few photos of a lovely golden sun reflected off some awesome looking clouds, I knew it was time for the ND8 full filter.  

I know people who, as soon as the Sun disappears from view, will say to themselves 'Well, that's it - home time now'.  They don't realise that if they stick around they will get some lovely reflections off the clouds.  As the sun sinks under the horizon those rays of light are still shining directly on the clouds which are higher up in the sky!  Not only that but......

It is amazing how much residual light is still around for a long exposure shot!  

Take these photos on this blog status of mine, the long exposure photos were taken about 32 minutes after the sun had set!  I am very happy with these long exposure shots; I have recently been calculating long exposure time manually and the maths is paying off!   The colour shot was a 92 second exposure and the black and white an 88 second exposure.

Of the 2 photos of the actual sunset, one is a High Dynamic Range photo comprising of 3 bracketed exposure shots at +/- 2 EV.  This means to say, 1 shot is under exposed by a value of -2, 1 shot is over exposed by a value of +2 and a third shot is as per normal exposure.  For this I used some new software I purchased a couple of weeks ago; NIK HDR Efex Pro 2.  It merges the 3 differently exposed photos together to give a properly exposed photo.

The second of the sunset photos is edited with NIK Viveza 2 software.  This operates as a plugin to Lightroom 5 and allows me to select a preset look for a photo which doesn't take up my time in Photoshop as I play around to get that desired look.  Although it is a preset edit, the NIK software also has sliders for finer control and, levels and curves to further adjust tonality.

Anyway, for what was a quick decision to get out and about I am really happy with the results!


Jordy

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All photos on this blog are copyright Life with Jordy Photography and may not be used without permission.



Sunset at Eleebana, Lake Macquarie, Australia.

Eleebana Sunset, Lake Macquarie, Australia

Lake Macquarie from the Eleebana foreshore, Lake Macquarie, Australia.

Long exposure of Lake Macquarie from Eleebana, Australia